Its funny while I am writing this post I have a chat window open for Live Chat Support at H1Base which tells me I have 0 people in front of me and I have 1 minute wait time, yet nobody comes.
I don’t recommend these people or company in any way or whatever it claims to be and this is the reason why and if you have a different story, please feel free to share in the comments section.
Before I first moved to the US to live 3 years ago, I like you was lost and did searches online and H1Base came up in the paid listing in Google along with numerous other people proporting to help you get a work visa (for a fee of course!).
Now after browsing through most of them H1Base seemed the most reputable as it provided genuinely helpful information and didn’t ask to charge you the moment you entered the site as most others did. Additionally the US Diversity Visa Lottery (or Green Card Lottery as it is more commonly known) run by the US State Department was mentioned on there as a simple form you could complete yourself to enter. This is entirely true, it takes all of 5 minutes and is as basic as a form could be and is FREE to enter. However many sites charge a fee to do this for you, claiming all sorts of things and difficulties you may have.
To me the only difficulty you could possibly have is if you can’t read or speak English. However if that is your issue you wouldn’t be able to understand the site asking for your money anyway 🙂
So I digress, H1Base seemed reputable. It had as one of their offerings at the time and still does when I look at the site a guaranteed job finding service that will not stop until they secure you a H1B visa job (or E3) and you get your visa. On the face of it that sounds awesome given the relatively low price you have to pay (currently under $200USD) but has one major flaw. Ultimately regardless of whether they even do find you a job, there are a few bridges to cross.
Firstly the USCIS (US Customs and Immigration Service) formerly known as the INS, and Department of Labor have to approve separate petitions of the company willing to employ you and pay relevant costs.
If you pass that hurdle then you have the significant hurdle of the Quota for H1B (there is a quota for E3 too although has yet to filled in any year it has been running). H1B applications open each year on April 1 and the last 2 years at least they received in excess of 100,000 application on that first day alone.
So you can see instantly there is an issue. There is huge demand and even if you have ticked every box 100% successfully up to this point you can still lose out here very easily because there is an element of luck involved. Granted there are things that can help having a US Masters Degree or higher (which would have most likely cost you a lot already) which puts you under a different cap, working for an approved non-profit/government/education institution which are often uncapped, paying the Premium Filing Fee (an extra $1,000) to help expedite your case and have access to your case officer by phone, etc. but in the end this is still out of yours (and H1Base’s hands).
Finally you have to be approved by the US Consulate that you apply too and you can be rejected there for a whole host of reasons either because of something to do with you or the company or both. Consulate’s are funny entities and can operate completely differently depending on the city or country you apply. Generally if you have paid all the fees, you haven’t lied about anything yourself, there is no criminal history, the company documents and fees are in order, etc. you should be fine but there are certainly no guarantees.
So H1Base claim of guarantee of a job and a visa does not mean much when they have no say over 95% of the process!
Now the suspicious aspect of this all for me is that (by the way I am still waiting for that live chat support I mentioned at the beginning) when I was in Australia and I emailed them asking for help, they answered all my questions quickly and fully and seemed very friendly. When I moved to the US initially under a J1 visa and was looking for a permanent work position and contacted them for help via email mentioning I was in Boston, I never once got a response.
Given I was in the US I also thought I would call their numbers as well but the numerous times I tried during normal business hours (given they are supposedly based in Florida and same timezone as me) i went through an endless look of automated answering options and no matter what options I picked I always ended up at a voicemail at the end. Very Suspicious I Think!!
When you look at their site they supposedly have recommendations from Monster and CNN and Universities and maybe its true and maybe it isn’t or it has been taken out of context but I’ll bet if those institutions knew about my experiences they may think twice about their comments.
Anyway I will be back soon again for more help….but otherwise Happy Searching!
CJ (still no response from their Live Chat…surprise, surprise!)
P.S. as a side note, read one of their ridiculous newsletter headlines and then obvious comments from someone from their company below the post (even though he can’t admit it)